Sunday, May 22, 2011


   This is iris season, and it seems in many yards, there are a variety of blooms gracing carefully arranged gardens complimenting front porches, sidewalk shoulders, and simple gatherings of flower clumps.  The colors and their variety are really astounding.  Russet reds, sunny yellows, purple splashes, and pure white can be the sole color or a mix of patterns that draws the eye in.  Green stalk leaves shoot up surrounding the flowers, like spear bearing foot men protecting their ladies grace. 
   I love spring flowers.  Not just because it’s wonderful to drink in the color after a long white winter, but as a sign in and of themselves of renewal that is coming.  But, I think one of the favorite parts of the iris for me is the variety and diversity of them.  So many beautiful colors, sizes, and complexity of blooms can be combined in one flower bed.  They all complement each other, each one adding it own shade of color depth.  I have a great privilege of enjoying many diverse people around me.  From different parts of the country, different countries, the people are all so different, and yet so similar.  It is something I enjoy to be able to see the depth of diversity in that human garden. 
   I think the other thing that I love about irises, and many flowers in general, is that they are something that the humblest and richest of us can enjoy.  Shared by many green thumbed gardeners who discover that they have a commonality in the love of growing things, clumps, clippings, and seeds are shared over fences and around organizations.  I see a very humble home many times in a week, it is not the most beautiful home or most elaborate.  Instead, it looks as if it needs a great deal of care.  But, in a side yard carefully tended clump are a mixture of yellow irises.  It’s like a bit of sunshine that landed in their yard and decided that it liked the green so much it would stay. 
    I love flowers, but I don’t love to weed!  Oh it comes in fits and starts where I want to get stick my hands into garden gloves and feel the pull of the weeds and the smell of the warm dirt.  I do enjoy seeing the cleanly orderliness of the flower beds afterwards.  But, in my mind – I pull weeds once in the year and it should just be done!  Some of those weeds are just annoyingly persistent.  And that is one of the thins that I also applaud irises and other flowers for when they don’t need a lot of tending.  These are no fragile hot house flowers that will wilt if they do not receive 4.2 hours of sunlight and 14 tablespoons of filtered water in an eyedropper.  Okay, so I exaggerate (a bit), but these are hardy flowers.  The bulbs are placed in the earth and there they will come and grow and spread for years.   It is their resilience in a Midwest that often faces snow and ice storms over long winter months.  I want to be resilient as well, to be planted in good soil and then allowed to grow and bloom yearly. 
    Enjoy the blooms from the yard.